Robot Cloud Lab with Max Hodak

A biologist wants to study the genetic makeup of an organism. A pharmaceutical researcher wants to test the effects of an experimental drug. These types of experiments require a deep knowledge of the scientific domain as well as the lab techniques to produce the data that will eventually yield a result.

Transcriptic is a robotic biology laboratory that allows you to make requests for experiments to run remotely. Scientists who use Transcriptic do not have to perform wet lab experimentation. The robotic laboratory process has the potential to do for biology what Amazon Web Services did for computing.

Max Hodak is a cofounder of Transcriptic and joins me today to explain how a robotic laboratory works. There are a wide variety of challenges, from hardware integration to software reverse engineering–but we also talk about why it is worth it to overcome these challenges, including a discussion of the “reproducibility crisis” that is undermining faith in our scientific experiments.

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